Victims of sexual abuse often struggle with a sense of obligation to silence. There are many reasons for this, ranging from an imposed silence, to personal guilt, to religious duty. Many victims spend more time worrying that they will ‘destroy their abuser’ than most abusers seem to worry about the damage done by their horrendous acts.
I hear comments like, “I can’t tell what my (uncle/brother/sister/cousin…) did to me. It would be too hard for everyone… And I would feel so bad for destroying my family.” Or, “My family would disown me if…” or some other fear of rejection. But one of the most common reasons for silence is a sense of religious obligation, as though the victim is being ungodly, unkind, or destructive by exposing the offender, or sharing their story or testimony.
The latter is often justified by twisting the word of God into some distorted misrepresentation of truth that messes with the mind. Frequently Ephesians 5:12 is used to impose such silence, declaring that ‘The Word of God even says it is shameful to speak about those things” while completely disregarding the real message, that speaking out breaks the darkness and brings light.
God gives us permission to speak. He does not impose a code of silence on people and doesn’t expect only the good stories to be told. The Bible is our guide and example, and it is full of murder and mayhem, sexual abuse and violence… and the consequences for such things.
If you are a victim of abuse who has been muzzled, you are free to speak, with God’s blessing. You owe nothing to silence, and certainly don’t owe silence to the abuser. Truth can be spoken without evil intent, and if the offender is truly repentant, his or her reputation will not be their first priority.
Speaking out and breaking the power of silence plays a role in freedom and breaking both personal and generational strongholds. Choose freedom. Choose light. Choose to expose.
~ T ~
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